From 30 strokes to 20by Curtis Williams
THE COURT OF Appeal yesterday reduced from 30 to 20 the number of strokes Benjamin de Freitas would receive with the cat-o’-nine tails.
The court upheld a submission from his attorney Martin George that the trial judge exceeded the statutory limit of strokes that a person could receive.
The Court of Appeal comprising Justices Sat Sharma, Mustapha Ibrahim and Jean Permanand reduced the sentence but confirmed the conviction.
George had applied to the court for leave to withdraw his appeal against the conviction.
De Freitas was sentenced in February 1992 to 30 strokes and 29 years in prison by Justice Lennox Deyalsingh after he was found guilty of four counts of robbery with aggravation and two counts of shooting with intent.
The court yesterday heard that on Tuesday August 27, three men armed with guns entered Lee Kim’s travel service and robbed the manager and workers of cash jewelry.
The court heard that Constables Albon Ross, Garth Nelson and Sgt Errol Denoon were on mobile patrol when they received a wireless report on the robbery.
They proceeded to the location and found the three men leaving the travel agency.
De Freitas was apprehended and while he was being put to into the police vehicle he snatched Sgt Denoon’s service revolver.
Constable Nelson went to Denoon’s assistance and was shot in the abdomen and Denoon was shot twice in the chest.
The men were eventually arrested, tried and found guilty.
De Freitas has been in prison since his conviction in 1992.
Deputy Director for Public Prosecutions Rangie Dolsingh appeared on behalf of the State.